ZEISS Sponsored Event

The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal

January 9 - March 31, 2018 - New York University’s Grey Art Gallery

New York University will be exhibiting The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, featuring original drawings by the father of modern neuroscience, Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934). This ZEISS sponsored exhibit will run from January 9 through March 31 at the NYU Grey Art Gallery in Manhattan.

Event Background

The Beautiful Brain is organized by the Weisman Art Museum in collaboration with the University of Minnesota and the Cajal Institute (CSIC) in Spain. This is the first major exhibit in the U.S. showcasing the extraordinary drawings of Cajal. Featuring some 80 drawings by Cajal between 1890 and 1934, this landmark show illustrates Cajal’s 1906 Nobel Prize winning supposition that the nervous system is composed of discrete yet contiguous cells called neurons.

For more details on the event as well as the programs, click here.

The Father of Neuroscience

Santiago Ramón y Cajal was born in Spain where he studied medicine, despite his artistic talents. He received his PhD in 1877 and became a professor of Anatomy in 1883. By 1906, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with the Italian physician and scientist Camillo Golgi, for their studies of the structure of the nervous system.1 Cajal used the most advance systems of his time to achieve many of his ground breaking results, including microscopes by Carl Zeiss.

Click here to learn how ZEISS has supported other Nobel Prize Laureates in their endeavors.

Learn more about how ZEISS impacted scientific discovery in the 19th century by clicking here.

From Neuron to Connectome

Cajal's drawings provided a detailed glimpse of the individual neurons within our brains. Today, scientists aim to understand the connectomics of the complex network formed by the 85 billion individual neurons in the human brain, to further countless applications. In collaboration with ZEISS, scientists are using a unique Scanning Electron Microscope, MultiSEM, to reduce the imaging time of a tiny portion of mouse brain - just 1 mm3 - from six years to just four months.

Click here to learn how ZEISS MultiSEM is impacting modern neuroscience.

Learn about the moonshot effort needed to create an accurate 3D model of the brain here.


1. https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1906/cajal-facts.html

Image Credits

1. Drawing of Neuron by Santiago Ramón y Cajal. El Legado Cajal - Instituto Cajal (CSIC); Madrid, Spain.
2. Ultrathin mouse brain section, 100 µm wide FOV, imaged in 1.3 seconds. Image courtesy of Jeff Lichtman, Harvard University.